U.S. Hotels’ Performance, Lufthansa’s Carbon Surcharge and Oslo’s Offbeat Ad



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Skift Take

Today’s podcast looks at U.S. hotel trends, Lufthansa’s new carbon fees, and Oslo’s sardonic tourism ad.

Good morning from Skift. It’s Wednesday, June 26, and here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today. 

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Episode Notes

The U.S. hotel industry’s performance has had mixed fortunes so far this year. The luxury sector has experienced robust growth in demand and room rates while economy hotels have struggled, reports Senior Hospitality Editor Sean O’Neill. 

Luxury hotel occupancy was up 1.8% in the first five months of 2024, according to CoStar. However, economy hotel occupancy was down a little more than 3%. O’Neill writes affluent travelers might be benefitting from a recent sharp run-up in stock prices and increased home values, which might make them feel comfortable spending on luxury hotels. 

Meanwhile, O’Neill adds high inflation for core things for lower-income households may force them to prioritize essential expenses instead of discretionary travel. 

Next, the Lufthansa Group — the parent company of several major airlines — says it can’t afford the additional costs of the European Union’s new environmental regulations on its own. So Lufthansa is adding a surcharge of up to $77 to flights departing next year, writes Airlines Editor Gordon Smith. 

The surcharge starts at just a few euro – the highest is for first class on long-haul flights. Lufthansa says the surcharge is needed to cover a portion of rising costs due to new environmental requirements. Smith notes the European Union has enacted a new quota for Sustainable Aviation Fuel, which goes into effect on January 1. The surcharge will apply to any flight sold and operated by Lufthansa that departs from a European Union member state.  

Finally, Oslo’s tourism board released a tongue-in-cheek ad that promotes the Norwegian capital by using dry humor, writes Global Tourism Reporter Dawit Habtemariam.

The ad features an actor telling potential tourists: “I wouldn’t come here.” He notes there are no lines for museums or waits at restaurants. The actor tells you everything that’s wrong with Oslo – no lines at museums, no waits at restaurants – and in doing so shares exactly what makes it unique and beautiful. It’s an appealing message as so many cities are overrun with tourists.

Anne-Signe Fagereng, Visit Oslo’s director of marketing, said the city needed a different approach in the competition to attract tourists. 



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